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Amsterdam – water as a means of transport and valuable resource

Leichte Sprache
Gebärden­sprache
Ich wünsche eine Übersetzung in:

The people of Amsterdam know how to deal with water correctly: economically. They also use their city’s waterways to transport goods.

Amsterdam

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The residents of the Dutch capital use only 53 cubic meters of water per capita – a third of the European average. Water meters motivate the citizens of Amsterdam to save. In addition, just 3.5 percent of drinking water is lost through leaky water pipes. For comparison: In Hamburg this figure is also only 4 percent, but in other cities such as Rome (40 percent) and Lisbon (46 percent) it is considerably more.

Shop deliveries by ship instead of truck
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In other areas, the people of Amsterdam want to use water for even more. The narrow canals that run through the city used to be the main routes of transportation for goods and people. Now goods are to be shipped increasingly by water once again, instead of supplying businesses in the center by truck. Hamburg is taking a similar tack: In the port of the Hanseatic City, containers are increasingly being transported by barge instead of by truck.

By 2040, 200,000 electric vehicles are to be on the road
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In order to reduce vehicle emissions, Amsterdam is placing more emphasis on electricity: By 2040, 200,000 electric vehicles will be on the roads. Anyone changing over to the eco-friendly option receives financial support. In addition, charging stations are being installed and parking lots created which are available only to electric vehicles.


City garbage supplies electricity to three-quarters of all households
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The residents of Amsterdam are also exemplary in how they deal with their waste. They separate and recycle 43 percent of it. From what’s left, enough energy is produced to supply three-quarters of the households with electricity. Only one percent of the waste winds up in landfills.


 

Blog Post on Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Building on water

Water is everywhere in Amsterdam. In the famous Grachten, in the sprawling harbour, the Amstel river and the IJsselmeer. So it's no wonder that water plays a major role within urban planning.

And no wonder too, that our Train of Ideas was located at the water alongside an idyllic canal at the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek, a historic gas factory recently transformed in a lively venue. Little boats lying at the embankment mark the way to the nearby harbour and the widely ramified waterways. Many of the bigger canals and Grachten place the well known houseboats and floating houses. Residential houses aren't the only floating objects in Amsterdam: In some hubs of the city, like the Centraal Station, pontoons are used as floating parking garage for bicycles - as bicycles have outnumbered cars in Amsterdam and the countless bikes simply have to be parked somewhere. So they park on the water or in multi-storey fietsen-parks or literaly at any street lamp, fence or just any other spot.

More than 50% of the people in Amsterdam use their bike every day and the city is doing a lot to encourage people doing so: Besides providing parking space and 400 kilometers of (mostly separated) bicycle lanes, cyclists have the opportunity to go for free on the many ferries that connect the city centre with the Amsterdam North on the other side of the IJ (part of the Ijselmeer). Amsterdam North is one of the main extension areas for the booming town. Artificial islands, polders and abandoned parts of the old harbour get transformed in new neighbourhoods. Best known is the prosaically named KNSM-Island just behind the Centraal Station.

KNSM-Island (for Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij) is now an attractive quarter with dwellings, restaurants, shops, social infrastructure - and of course with bicycle lanes, small canals and houseboats. Renowned architects like Rem Koolhaas built on KNSM. So in a way KNSM and the other waterfront projects at the IJ are the Dutch version to Hamburg's HafenCity (where Rem Koolhaas also contributed a design).

Besides bicycles and ferries and all kind of public transport there's another means of transport getting more and more popular in Amsterdam: Electric cars. In fact the city is strongly engaged in promoting e-mobility. Between 2009 and 2015 a sum of 15 million Euro is getting spend on that project. Some results can already be seen: Charging stations on the sidewalks and more and more companies (and first private households too) using e-cars. But the goal is much more far-reaching and extremely ambitious: From 2040 on no "normal" cars should be driving on Amsterdam's streets anymore. Well, let's see. At least the city is giving a good example: the tram and metro is already running on "green power".

"Green energy is a big topic in Amsterdam", says Eveline Jonkhoff, Senior Advisor Sustainable Strategy at the city of Amsterdam, when she visited the Train of Ideas. "In the midterm we want to obtain 30% of our energy from renewable energy produced locally in Amsterdam. One important part of that strategy is using waste and sewage as a source of renewable energy." This is already done by the Amsterdam Waste and Energy Company (= Afval Energie Bedrij) and will be extended, Mrs. Jonkhoff explained. Although in Hamburg the same principle is followed for a certain area in the harbour, the approach in Amsterdam is very innovative. For us, who we are travelling with the Train of Ideas for five month now, that means: Even in city number 16 there's still plenty to learn for Hamburg! The 16th city? Unbelievable - but now we have only one destination left in our itinerary: Next week the Train will open it's door in Antwerp before we head back home to Hamburg.

Themenübersicht auf hamburg.de

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